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29.11.11

Gove criticises unions

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has criticised unions for the strikes due tomorrow, warning that 90% of schools will close. Gove also suggested that the unions are being ‘unfair’ on taxpayers and other workers.

Gove said of the unions: “They want mothers to give up a day's work, or pay for expensive childcare, because schools will be closed. They want teachers and other public sector workers to lose a day’s pay in the run-up to Christmas.

“They will not make the tough decisions any easier. But they will force tens of thousands of parents to scrabble around for emergency childcare or plead with their bosses for a day off. And they will deprive children of a day’s schooling. I must warn parents that many schools are going to close. The overwhelming majority, north of 90%.

“They want scenes of industrial strife on our TV screens. They want to make economic recovery harder - they want to provide a platform for confrontation just when we all need to pull together.”

He stated that the cost of paying teachers’ pensions had risen from £5bn in 2005-6 and will increase to £10bn by 2015-16, and argued that reform was ‘vital’ to ensure equality for all taxpayers.

However, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers Russell Hobby said: “After a decade of good industrial relations, blame for any rise in union militancy - particularly among moderate unions - belongs fairly and squarely at the Government's door: a failure to negotiate in any meaningful sense until the last minute.”

Up to 2 million people could join the industrial day of action on November 30 to oppose changes to public sector pensions.

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has criticised unions for the strikes due tomorrow, warning that 90% of schools will close. Gove also suggested that the unions are being ‘unfair’ on taxpayers and other workers.

Gove said of the unions: “They want mothers to give up a day's work, or pay for expensive childcare, because schools will be closed. They want teachers and other public sector workers to lose a day’s pay in the run-up to Christmas.

“They will not make the tough decisions any easier. But they will force tens of thousands of parents to scrabble around for emergency childcare or plead with their bosses for a day off. And they will deprive children of a day’s schooling. I must warn parents that many schools are going to close. The overwhelming majority, north of 90%.

“They want scenes of industrial strife on our TV screens. They want to make economic recovery harder - they want to provide a platform for confrontation just when we all need to pull together.”

He stated that the cost of paying teachers’ pensions had risen from £5bn in 2005-6 and will increase to £10bn by 2015-16, and argued that reform was ‘vital’ to ensure equality for all taxpayers.

However, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers Russell Hobby said: “After a decade of good industrial relations, blame for any rise in union militancy - particularly among moderate unions - belongs fairly and squarely at the Government's door: a failure to negotiate in any meaningful sense until the last minute.”

Up to 2 million people could join the industrial day of action on November 30 to oppose changes to public sector pensions.

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